Arsenal Tech students in Shrek. Indianapolis Public Schools strives to prepare students for success after they leave the halls of our schools, and many students learn the value of preparation and teamwork through their spring stage productions. Students, staff and family volunteers devote hours of their personal time for weeks to ensure audiences are entertained with a night at the theatre.

Arsenal Technical High School’s main stage musical this semester was “Shrek the Musical” – a staged production of the popular animated movie. Students gained experience with set design, costuming, stage crew, orchestra and, of course, performing; there were 67 student actors on stage throughout the production!

“It was a difficult journey, learning all those lines and many solos and working so hard to bring his character to life,” said Arsenal Tech senior Phillip C., who played Shrek. “Opening night was like a dream come true – the payoff for countless hours of dedication and practice and lots of hard work!”

For Deont’a S., who took the stage as Donkey, the rewards come from building relationships and sharing his love of theatre.

“It’s a great experience, meeting new people that haven’t done a musical before, and also growing with the people who’ve shared the stage with you for years, and working to become a better performer. One of the most fun performances is the one we do for the elementary kids. They are a very lively and appreciative audience. They made me feel like a star!”

“The best part for me is knowing that by giving these great students the opportunity to be in a musical, we are opening a door that many of them may have never even considered,” said Arsenal Tech musical director Cindy Hartshorn. “Giving them the chance to be part of a Broadway-style show is a unique and amazing experience – even life-changing for some.”

At Broad Ripple High School for the Arts and Humanities, this semester’s musical was a tribute to the low-budget horror movies of the 1950s: “Little Shop of Horrors.” Between their other performance and classroom duties, students devoted time to mastering the hit rock musical.

Our students aren’t the only stars of the IPS stages; the faculty musical is one of the highlights of every spring at Arsenal Tech. This year, the Titans staff and administrators are tackling Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Preparations for the show are already underway, and you can catch the product of their hard work April 10 and 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Arsenal Tech’s Anderson Auditorium!